## Friday, July 04, 2008

### I want to hurt you. I want to punish you. I want you to feel pain.

PEOPLE WHO SHOULDN'T ATTEMPT MATH: Poor Mr. Ball throws up his hands at the mind-boggling numbers involved:

Well, we are into probability theory now, and we are both probably over our heads. But no, the odds of it all "just happening" are too astronomically high for a reasonable person to accept. I mean, they are astronomical.

This would be a variant on the well-known "tornado sweeping through a junkyard and building a 747" argument, or the painful (and hideously incorrect) calculation of the chance of a full amino acid springing forth from nothing, etc, etc, at which point wanks like Mr. Ball throw up their hands and conclude that, therefore, God is a more "reasonable" conclusion. Or is it?

If that's the case, I would like Mr. Ball to calculate the probability of God.

Seriously, given that mathematical illiterates like Mr. Ball clearly enjoy tossing around large numbers to allegedly demonstrate the improbability of the natural universe, it only makes sense that, if they want to present God as a more likely and more probable alternative, they should have done a similar statistical analysis on such a being.

So let's see it, Mr. Ball. Step by step, I would like to see your statistical analysis representing the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient being as is your Christian God. Please begin by describing such a being in suitably concrete and specific terms so that we can attach mathematical probabilities to each of the properties. Further, calculate the chances of those individual properties occurring in concert to eventually produce the Christian God. Be precise. Show your work. Because, until you do, you are, quite simply, full of shit.

Let's see some numbers, Mr. Ball.: The probability of the existence of God. Make sure you don't skip any steps, and those of us with a graduate background in mathematics will be happy to check your work and correct any of your mistakes.

Anytime you're ready, dude. We're waiting.

LuLu said...

No. And you can't make me ... so there.

Ti-Guy said...

I want to hurt you. I want to punish you. I want you to feel pain.

Didn't hurt me in the least. Observing that discussion was like staring at a mandala. It was transcendent, in fact.

Dave said...

I read that last night without prior warning. I would have preferred a long, large hangover.

Frank Frink said...

I think RT had it right the first time - "I think you might be wasting your time on this one".

Ti-Guy said...

Oh, absolutely. I don't even think Bouncing Ball understands that words have meaning.

liberal supporter said...

It seems he goes after atheists for worshiping the wrong thing (i.e. the void or maybe "nothing"), rather than understand the atheist just doesn't generally worship at all.

Is nothing sacred?

I read as far as I could, but I was unable to breathe from laughing so hard. So I had to use the "safe word" and get out of there. Sorry...

chris said...

The irreducible complexity! It burns!

¢rÄßG®äŠŠ said...

`
On the statistical analysis, I'm pretty sure Mr. Ball would offend us early on, as follows:

Let p(G) = 1

CC said...

Quite right, Crabby. Ever notice how so many proofs of God begin with, "First, assume the existence of God."

The rest of it follows quite naturally.

liberal supporter said...

Sounds like Steve Martin's old "How to Make a Million Dollars and Never Pay Taxes".

First, get a million.

Sheena said...

While you guys are at it, can you also have him solve the riddle of 'can God create a rock so heavy that he can't lift it'.

THAT one has kept me up nights since grade 3.

¢rÄßG®äŠŠ said...

Yep. Just like the chicken and the eggplant question.

toujoursdan said...

It's like all the proofs for the [fundamentalist interpretation of the] Bible being "God's Word". It always boils down to "The Bible is inspired because a passage in 1st Timothy says so."

I went to an evangelical school and was immersed in this for years. I always thought it was laughable, but many of these people have never had a real debate on any of their doctrines so all their "proofs" are geared toward people who agree with them anyway.

Red Tory said...

I tried to point out to him that he had no basis on which to calculate relative probabilities but he didn’t seem to get what I was saying and just blithely carried on with his claim that our cozy little neck of the universe is just too gosh darned perfect to be the work of anything but an omnipotent God.

You might as well argue with a can of beans. Or Patrick Ross.

Lore_Weaver said...

Hehe Sheena, I did exactly that. I actually used that in an upper-level philosophy class in University.

I picked it apart quite well, but it is debunkable. Augustine did a fair job.

That doesn't stop it from being a limiting factor.

I know it's like "arguing with a can of beans" but it's not for the sake of converting Mr. Ball, it's for the purpose of allowing readers to question the sanity of their own beliefs.

You debate for the audience, not for the participants, and not to be right.

Red Tory said...

I suppose you have a point on that basis although it still doesn't go far in mitigating the frustration experienced by arguing with someone as willfully obtuse as Mr. Ball.

Simple logic dictates that divine omnipotence &tc. is impossible owing to the obvious paradoxes involved.

I could be mistaken, but it seems this flawed concept of God seems to be a conceit that's unique to the Abrahamic religions for reasons that we can only wonder why.

Lore_Weaver said...

"I could be mistaken, but it seems this flawed concept of God seems to be a conceit that's unique to the Abrahamic religions for reasons that we can only wonder why."

You're right. The God's of all other cultures were fallible. They were typically beings of imaginable power, as opposed to unimaginable power. However, the Abrahamic God eventually won out the pantheon wars! *giggles*

E in MD said...

I'm no mathematician but I would think it would be more fun to have him express the probability that his particular god exists out of all the god concepts that currently exist and have ever existed Why should Zeus, Athena, Cthulhu and Maarduk miss out on the fun?